Between the months of May and October of 1917, our Blessed Mother appeared to three shepherd children near Fatima, Portugal, giving them a message for the world which has since become known as the “Peace Plan from Heaven.” She warned men that if they did not amend their lives, God would be forced to punish them by means of wars and other sufferings.
The words of the Angel of Portugal, who appeared to the children three times the year before Our Lady appeared, of the Fatima Message, too, are also an important part of the Fatima Message.
The Angel of Portugal: First Apparition
“Fear not. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.”
Kneeling down, he bowed forward until his forehead touched the ground. We imitated him, led by a supernatural inspiration, and repeated the words we heard him say: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love Thee. I beg Thee forgiveness for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love Thee.”
After he had repeated this twice, he rose and said: “Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.” Then he disappeared.
The Angel of Portugal: Second Apparition
“What are you doing? Pray! Pray a great deal! The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs concerning you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High!”
“How must we sacrifice?” I asked.
“Offer God a sacrifice of anything you can as an act of reparation for the sins with which He is offended and as a supplication for the conversion of sinners. Draw peace upon your country by doing this. I am its guardian angel — the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and endure with submission whatever suffering the Lord sends you.” Then he disappeared.
The Angel of Portugal: Third Apparition
As soon as we arrived there, we began to say the angel’s prayer on our knees, with our faces to the ground. “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love Thee. . . ” I do not know how many times we had said this prayer when we saw an unknown light shining over our heads. We rose to see what was happening, and we saw the angel bearing a chalice in his left hand. Drops of blood fell into the chalice from a Host suspended over it. Leaving the chalice and the Host suspended in the air, the angel prostrated himself beside us and said the following prayer three times:
“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly and offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the insults, sacrileges, and indifference with which He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg Thee for the conversion of poor sinners.”
After this, rising up, he again took the chalice and the Host in his hand; he gave the Host to me and the contents of the chalice to Jacinta and Francisco to drink, saying: “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, who is horribly insulted by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.”
He again prostrated himself on the ground and repeated with us the same prayer three more times. “Most Holy Trinity. . . .” Then he disappeared.
Compelled by the supernatural force that enveloped us, we imitated the angel in everything, that is, prostrating ourselves as he did and repeating the prayers he said. The strength of God’s presence was so intense that it absorbed and annihilated us almost completely. . . The peace and happiness we felt were great, but intimate, as our souls were entirely concentrated on God.
Our Lady’ Apparitions
May 13, 1917:
Our Lady: “Do not be afraid, I will not harm you.”
Lucia: “Where do you come from?”
Our Lady: “I come from Heaven.”
Lucia: “And what does you wish of me?”
Our Lady: “I have come to ask you to come here for six months in succession on the thirteenth day of each month at this same hour. Later I will tell you who I am and what I want. Afterward, I will return here a seventh time.”
Lucia: “Will I go to Heaven?”
Our Lady: “Yes, you will.”
Lucia: “And Jacinta?”
Our Lady: “Also.”
Lucia: “And Francisco?”
Our Lady: “Also, but he must say many rosaries.”
Lucia: “Is Maria das Neves already in heaven?”
Our Lady: “Yes, she is.”
Lucia: “And Amélia?”
Our Lady: “She will be in purgatory until the end of the world. Do you wish to offer yourselves to God to endure all the sufferings that He may be pleased to send you, as both an act of reparation for the sins with which He is offended and an act of supplication for the conversion of sinners?”
Lucia: “Yes, we do. ”
Our Lady: “Then you will have much to suffer. But the grace of God will be your comfort.”
“Upon saying these last words, ‘the grace of God…’ for the first time she opened her hands, which emitted a most intense light that penetrated our breasts, reaching the innermost part of our souls and making us see ourselves in God, Who was that light, more clearly than we can see ourselves in the best of mirrors. Then, driven by a deep inspiration, we knelt down and repeated inwardly: ‘O Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament.’”
“A moment later, Our Lady added, ‘Pray the rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.’ She immediately began to rise serenely toward the east until she disappeared far into the distance. The light that surrounded her was, so to speak, opening her way through the starry firmament.”
June 13, 1917:
Lucia: “What do you want of me?”
Our Lady: “I wish you to come here on the 13th of next month, to pray the Rosary every day, and to learn to read. Later, I will tell you what I want.”
Lucia asked for the cure of a sick person.
Our Lady: “If he is converted, he will be cured during the year.”
Lucia: “I would like to ask you to take us to Heaven.”
Our Lady: “Yes, I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon, but you, Lucy, are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you in order to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion, I promise salvation; those souls will be cherished by God, as flowers placed by Me to adorn His throne”
Lucia: “Am I to stay here alone?”
Our Lady: “No, my daughter. Are you suffering a great deal? Don’t lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”
“As Our Lady spoke these last words, she opened her hands and for the second time, she communicated to us the rays of that same immense light. We saw ourselves in this light, as it were, immersed in God. Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in that part of the light which rose towards Heaven, and I in that which was poured out on the earth. In the front of the palm of Our Lady’s right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it. We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation.”
July 13, 1917:
Lucia: “What do you want of me?”
Our Lady: “I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, to continue reciting the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace in the world and the end of the war, because only She can help you.”
Lucia: “I should like to ask You to tell us who You are, and to work a miracle so that everyone will believe that you are appearing to us.”
Our Lady: “Continue to come here every month. In October, I will say who I am and what I want, and I will perform a miracle so that all might see and believe.”
Lucia then presented some petitions that had been entrusted to her. Our Lady said she would cure some, but not others, and that it was necessary to say the Rosary in order to obtain these graces throughout the year.
Our Lady: “Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say often to Jesus, especially whenever you make a sacrifice: ‘O Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.’”
“As Our Lady spoke these last words, she opened Her hands once more, as she had done during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me). The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. That vision lasted only a moment, thanks to our good Mother of Heaven, Who, at the first apparition, had promised to bring us to Heaven. Without that, I think we would have died of terror and fear.
“Terrified and as if to plead for succor, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us, so kindly and so sadly:
“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.”
“To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If My requests are heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world. In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc. Do not tell this to anybody. Francisco, yes, you may tell him.
“When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need.”
Lucia: “Is there anything more that you want of me?”
Our Lady: “No, I do not want anything more of you today.”
August 19, 1917:
Lucia: “What do you want from me?”
Our Lady: “I want you to continue going to the Cova da Iria on the 13th, that you continue praying the Rosary every day. On the last month, I will perform a miracle so that all may believe. If they had not taken you to the town, the miracle would have been greater. Saint Joseph will come with the Child Jesus, to give peace to the world. Our Lord will come to bless the people. Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Sorrows will come also.”
Lucia: “What do you want them to do with the money the people leave at the Cova da Iria?”
Our Lady: “Have two litters made. You will carry one with Jacinta and two other girls dressed in white; the other one Francisco is to carry, with three boys, like him, dressed in white. It will be for the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. What is left over will help towards the construction of a chapel that is to be built.”
Lucia: “I should like to ask you to cure some sick persons.”
Our Lady: “Yes, I will cure some of them during the year.”
Then looking more sad, Our Lady said: “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to Hell because they have no one to make sacrifices and pray for them.”
As usual, Our Lady began to ascend towards the east. From this time on, the three children looked for ways to make more sacrifices. Lucy describes one example:
“Some days after, we were following a path with our sheep and I found a piece of rope which had fallen from a cart. I took it and amused myself by attaching it to one of my arms. I did not take long to notice that the rope hurt me. I then said to my cousins: ‘Look, this hurts! We could attach it around our waist and offer this sacrifice to God.’ They accepted my idea immediately and we then decided to share that rope among the three of us. A sharp stone, rubbing on another, served as a knife. Whether because of the size and roughness of the rope, or because sometimes we squeezed it too much, that instrument made us suffer horribly. Sometimes Jacinta shed some tears because of the discomfort which the rope caused her. I told her on several occasions to take it off, and she replied, ‘No! I want to offer this sacrifice to Our Lord in reparation and for the conversion of sinners.’”
September 13, 1917:
Lucia: What do you want of me?”
Our Lady: “Continue to pray the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the war. In October Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Dolors and Our Lady of Carmel. Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to bless the world. God is pleased with your sacrifices, but He does not want you to sleep with the rope on, but only to wear it during the daytime.”
Lucia: I was told to ask you many things, the cure of some sick people, of a deaf-mute…”
Our Lady: “Yes, I will cure some, but not others. In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.”
Then Our Lady began to rise as usual, and disappeared.
October 13, 1917:
Lucia: “What do you wish of me?”
Our Lady: “I wish to tell you that I want a chapel built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue to pray the rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes.”
Lucia: “I have many things to ask you: if you would cure some sick persons, and if you would convert some sinners…”
Our Lady: “Some yes, others no. It is necessary that they amend their lives, and ask pardon for their sins. Let them offend Our Lord God no more, for He is already much offended.”
Then, opening her hands, Our Lady shone the light issuing from them onto the sun, and as she rose, her own radiance continued to be cast onto the sun. At that moment, Lucia cried, “Look at the sun!”
Once Our Lady had disappeared in the expanse of the firmament, three scenes followed in succession, symbolizing first the joyful mysteries of the Rosary, then the sorrowful mysteries, and, finally, the glorious mysteries. Lúcia alone saw the three scenes; Francisco and Jacinta saw only the first.
First scene: Saint Joseph appeared beside the sun with the Child Jesus and Our Lady of the Rosary. It was the Holy Family. The Virgin was dressed in white with a blue mantle. Saint Joseph was also dressed in white, and the Child Jesus in light red. Saint Joseph blessed the crowd, making the Sign of the Cross three times. The Child Jesus did the same.
Second scene: This was followed by the vision of Our Lady of Sorrows, without the sword in her breast, and of Our Lord overwhelmed with sorrow on the way to Calvary. Our Lord made the Sign of the Cross to bless the people.
Third scene: Finally, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth, appeared in a glorious vision with the Child Jesus.
While these scenes took place, the great throng of about seventy thousand spectators witnessed the miracle of the sun.
It had rained all during the apparition. At the end of the conversation between Our Lady and Lucia — when the Blessed Virgin rose and Lúcia shouted, “Look at the sun!” — the clouds opened up, revealing the sun as an immense silver disk. It shone with an intensity never before seen, but was not blinding. This lasted only an instant. Then the immense ball began to “dance.” The sun began to spin rapidly like a gigantic circle of fire. Then it stopped momentarily, only to begin spinning vertiginously again. Its rim became scarlet; whirling, it scattered red flames across the sky. Their light was reflected on the ground, on the trees, on the bushes, and on the very faces and clothing of the people, which took on brilliant hues and changing colors.
After performing this bizarre pattern three times, the globe of fire seemed to tremble, shake, and then plunge in a zigzag toward the terrified crowd.
All this lasted about ten minutes. Finally, the sun zigzagged back to its original place and once again became still and brilliant, shining with its everyday brightness. The cycle of the apparitions had ended. Many people noticed that their clothes, soaking wet from the rain, had suddenly dried.